2 former Mountain View students awarded $1M in blackface photo case

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Two former students who sued St. Francis High School in Mountain View were awarded $1 million by a Santa Clara County jury.

The plaintiffs claimed school administrators forced them out over an alleged blackface photo, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The former students said they were wearing black anti-acne facial masks.

According to the Chronicle,  a boy identified as A.H. in the lawsuit donned a green mask that his mother had bought in 2017, intended to cure severe acne. 

He took a selfie in the bathroom with another boy in a white acne mask. The following day, A.H., a friend referred to as H.H., and a third boy, Minor III, rubbed green medication on their faces in solidarity and took a picture of themselves, according to the lawsuit. Court exhibits show a photo of three shirtless boys, one flashing rock ’n’ roll horns.

The boys said they took the photo as a joke, but others who saw it believed it was a derogatory depiction of blackface. 

A jury on Monday sided with the students and said the school violated a non-disclosure agreement. 

School officials say they are exploring legal options, including an appeal.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.